A fitness routine can look differently for every individual. It can be anything from an hour in the gym several days per week, a consistent schedule of your favorite Group Fitness Classes, or even micro workouts spread throughout your busy day to get more physical activity. If you’re not accustomed to a workout routine though, it can be difficult to get started.
Whether you’re interested in losing weight, increasing lean muscle mass, getting healthier, or improving your overall quality of life, getting started with a fitness routine is only half of the challenge. You’ll need to find the motivation and determination to stay committed to your fitness goals and healthy lifestyle in order to maximize your results in the gym.
Learn more about how to start and maintain a fitness routine, in eight straightforward steps.
- Step 1 – Define your fitness goals
- Step 2 – Commit to a workout routine
- Step 3 – Create your fitness plan
- Step 4 – Recruit an accountability buddy
- Step 5 – Bring on a workout partner
- Step 6 – Change it up
- Step 7 – Track your progress
- Step 8 – Hire a Personal Trainer
STEP 1 – DEFINE YOUR FITNESS GOALS
You may be surprised by how many people hit the gym with an abstract goal to “get into shape,” “lose weight,” or “build muscle.” If your fitness goal is too indistinct though, it will be practically impossible to gauge your results and measure your progress. A lack of a clear end result or target also makes it easy for you to lose focus and increases the chance of giving up.
First, figure out what you want to accomplish with your fitness routine. Then, turn your goal into a S.M.A.R.T. goal, meaning that it is:
The difference between an abstract goal and a S.M.A.R.T. goal is the difference between thinking that you want to “run faster” and telling yourself, “I want to run a mile in under 10 minutes by the end of next month so that I can eventually complete a 5k race in under 30 minutes.”
Write down your S.M.A.R.T. goal and post it someplace where you see it often, like your bathroom mirror or computer monitor. Let this goal drive you to work harder every day.
STEP 2 – COMMIT TO A WORKOUT ROUTINE
The key to achieving your fitness goals is to build the habit of fitness. That means scheduling time each week that will be dedicated to working out. Writing for the National Institute for Fitness and Sport, Hannah Peters says, “Consistency is arguably the most important component when working to accomplish goals, in or out of the gym.”
If possible, work out on the same days and same time each week to help cement your habit. New exercisers should start small and build a foundation. Committing to 10 minutes of exercise two days a week is a great starting point.
Open your calendar and block out your workout days and times for the next month. This time is now sacred. Stick to it and don’t budge.
STEP 3 – CREATE YOUR FITNESS PLAN
Showing up to the gym or stepping onto the yoga mat in your home is half the battle, but now what? To achieve your fitness goals, create your fitness plan before you start your workout.
A great way to plan your fitness routine is to consider your goal and work backward. For example, if your goal is to run a 5k race, you may want to look up 5k training schedules online or set up a Complimentary Welcome Workout with a certified Personal Trainer.
Sit down and plan your workouts for the next two weeks. Not sure what to do? Read more on how to create your weekly gym routine.
STEP 4 – RECRUIT AN ACCOUNTABILITY BUDDY
You’ve started your fitness routine. Great job! Now, how are you going to stick with it? If you have trouble holding yourself accountable, get support with an accountability buddy. Dr. Benjamin Hardy notes, “by adding an accountability partner to your life, you’re simply increasing your odds of success. You don’t want to lie to someone you respect. So, when you tell them you’re going to show up this week, you’re more likely to do so.”
How do you choose an accountability partner? Find someone you trust will call you out if you start to slack off on your fitness goals. That could be your spouse, partner, roommate, best friend, sibling, parents, or even your kiddos. Let them know what your goals are (example: I want to work out for 20 minutes three days a week) and how you are going to report to them (I will text you before and after I start each workout.)
You guessed it. Find an accountability buddy! Ask a friend, or sign up for a Personal Trainer to keep you on track. Learn more on how creating accountability can increase your fitness results.
STEP 5 – BRING ON A WORKOUT PARTNER
Accountability buddies are great in helping you stay on track with your workout routine, but you know what’s even better? A workout partner.
A workout partner can help push you, cheer you on, and make working out more fun. Plus, they can help you improve your fitness results. A study out of Michigan State University found that exercisers who worked out with virtual fitness partners showed improved motivation and exercised longer.
Start your search for a workout partner. Find someone who either wants to start a fitness plan or, better yet, someone who has already built the habit of regular fitness. EōS Fitness has a fitness community built on encouragement and support.
STEP 6 – CHANGE IT UP
If you’ve been performing the same workout routine for a while, you might notice two things. First, you may find that your fitness results start to slow as the workouts become easier. Second, you may be getting bored mentally, as you become accustomed to the same workouts. Rachel Schultz, writing for Men’s Journal says, “The longer you do a single move, the more your muscles become used to it. Over time, that adaptation means you’ll stop seeing gains in the mirror.”
The solution? Mix up your fitness routine. Incorporate different exercises. Increase the intensity or weight. Try different workout styles. Try a Group Fitness class you’ve never taken before, like water fitness, dance fitness or group cycling. You’ll feel the difference immediately as your body adjusts to a whole new set of moves. You’ll also break through your mental plateau as well.
Sign up for a fitness class you’ve never tried. You can start with EōS at-home workouts on demand.
STEP 7 – TRACK YOUR PROGRESS
Tracking your progress and seeing real change in your body and health is such a motivating experience. Too many people make the mistake of only using the scale to track their fitness progress, because simply tracking your weight can be unreliable. Muscle weighs more than fat, so you can’t just look at your weight in terms of progress.
A better way to track your fitness results is to establish a baseline workout at the start of your training and perform the same workout at a set point in the future. You can test the speed in which you complete the workout, the number of reps you can perform in a certain time limit, or how much weight you can lift for a certain number of reps. It’s also a good idea to record the measurements of different areas of your body, especially if your goals are related to slimming down or building muscle.
Determine your S.M.A.R.T. goal and begin tracking. EōS offers an Evolt 360 Scanner which can take comprehensive measurements such as your muscle mass, fat mass, water, and mineral levels.
STEP 8 – HIRE A PERSONAL TRAINER
As a certified fitness expert, your trainer can help you define your goals, perform baseline testing and measurements, and then design a fitness routine that’s customized to your goals. They will hold you accountable and guide you through each workout to make sure you get the most out of your time at the gym.
Working with a Personal Trainer is an excellent idea for new exercisers, those who struggle with motivation, and anyone who wants to fast track their results. Take a look at nine ways a personal trainer can influence you for the better and what you should know before you start.
HOW TO MAINTAIN YOUR WORKOUT ROUTINE
You’ll need to dedicate time and focus on your exercise and nutrition. There are no quick solutions or shortcuts to reaching fitness goals and improving your health and wellness. Instead, it is all about building consistency and staying motivated.
Now is the time to get started and maintain your fitness routine. Find the nearest EōS Fitness and try all the wonderful gym amenities with a Complimentary 7-Day Pass.
This content was originally published in September 2020 and has been updated.